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Collecting area: Social justice (Page 8 of 11)

Mount Toby Meeting of Friends

Mount Toby Meeting of Friends Collection

1977-1991
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 694

The Northampton Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends (later the Middle Connecticut Valley Monthly Meeting) was formally established in 1939, bringing together the small community of Friends in Western Massachusetts. In 1959, the small preparative meetings in Amherst, Greenfield, Northampton, and South Hadley agreed to consolidate to create a more vital gathering. After five years without a fixed location, a Friend was moved to donate three acres of land on Long Plain Road in Leverett on which to build a proper meetinghouse. When that building opened in 1964, the meeting was renamed the Mt Toby Meeting.

Reflecting a strong history of promoting peace social justice, the Mt. Toby collection documents Friends’ involvement in a wide variety of issues ranging from war tax resistance (Randy Kehler and Betsy Corner), the “Colrain action” when the Kehler/Corner house was seized by the IRS), peace education and civil disobedience, refugee resettlement, the Sanctuary movement, and support for LGBT issues and racial equality. The collection consists largely of fliers and newsletters, ephemera, and newspaper clippings.

Subjects

Corner, BetsyKehler, RandyMount Toby Meeting of Friends (Quakers)PacifistsPeace movements--MassachusettsSanctuary movementSociety of Friends--MassachusettsWar tax resistance--Massachusetts
Nash, Herman B., Jr.

Herman B. Nash Papers

ca.1935-2010
7 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 895
Depiction of Civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., March 1965
Civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., March 1965

In 1944, eighteen-year old Herman B. “Keek” Nash enlisted in the Army, and after intensive Japanese language training, was assigned for duty as an intelligence officer in American-occupied Osaka, Japan. Settling in northern New Jersey after his discharge from the service in 1947, Nash held a succession of jobs, including brakeman on the Pennsylvania Railroad, before deciding to try his hand at teaching, earning a master’s degree in education at Columbia Teachers College. A solid leftist politically and a strong supporter of social justice causes and civil rights, he marched with Martin Luther King at Selma and Washington, though his ardor and political convictions came at a cost. Investigated by the FBI for alleged Communist sympathies in the late 1950s, Nash was fired from his position teaching high school science in Teaneck, N.J., in 1969, after leading a sit-in protest against school tracking. He subsequently returned to work on the railroad, where he was active with the union and took part in efforts to increase participation by African Americans and women. Yoneko Nash, Nash’s wife of 43 years, died in 2004, with Keek following in 2010.

A rich assemblage, the papers of Herman Nash offer a glimpse into the life experiences of a socially conscious veteran of the Second World War. Nearly a quarter of the collection stems from Nash’s time in the military service, including while he was learning Japanese at the University of Chicago (1944-1945) and while he was stationed in occupied Japan from spring 1946 through the following winter. Among other noteworthy items are a thick series of intelligence reports on the reaction of the local population to the occupation, noting episodes of civil unrest, crime, and other forms of social instability. The collection also contains a significant body of correspondence with family and friends, including serval whom he met in Japan. The balance of the collection relates to Nash’s interests in social justice causes, highlighted by a significant series of photographs taken during a massive civil rights demonstration in Montgomery, Ala.

Gift of Alice Nash, 2015, 2017

Subjects

Civil rights movementsJapan--History--Allied occupation, 1945-1952

Types of material

Photographs
National Priorities Project

National Priorities Project Records

1983-2015
15 boxes 22.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 913

A national non-partisan, not-for-profit organization based in Northampton, Mass., the National Priorities Project was founded in 1983 by Greg Speeter, Brenda Loew, Ricky Fogel, and Alwin Schmidt to conduct research into the depths of the federal budget. Their first effort was to analyze the dramatic reductions affecting many social programs, but the organization grew around the principle of making the complex federal budget transparent and more publicly accessible so that the public can better influence how their tax dollars are spent. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 in recognition of its pioneering work in tracking military spending, the NPP continues to work toward a federal budget that reflects Americans’ priorities, including funding for issues such as inequality, unemployment, education, healthcare, and the need to build a green economy.

The NPP collection documents over thirty years of a not-for-profit organization devoted to research-informed advocacy for a federal budget that reflects the priorities of most Americans. In addition to a run of NPP publications, the collection includes a series of topical files from Greg Speeter and his associates, selected correspondence, talks, and notes on their work.

Gift of Kris Elinevsky, 2016

Subjects

Military spendingUnited States--Appropriations and expenditures

Contributors

Speeter, Greg
Neill, D. Monty

D. Monty Neill Collection

1986
33 items 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1061

The Executive Director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest), Monty Neil is an educator and scholar of educational assessment who has led initiatives in several states focusing on testing reform and educational accountability. Since receiving his doctorate at Harvard for The Struggle of Boston’s Black Community for Quality and Equality in Education: 1960-1985 (EdD, 1987), Neill has published prolifically, including Implementing Performance Assessments: A Guide to Classroom School and System Reform (1995) and Testing Our Children: A Report Card on State Assessment Systems (1997).

The 33 audiocassettes in this collection include interviews with 29 members of Boston’s Black community about the busing crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were recorded between February to April, 1986, as part of Neill’s dissertation research.

Gift of Monty Neill, Dec. 2018

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--HistoryBusing for school integration--Massachusetts--Boston

Contributors

King, Mel

Types of material

Audiocassettes
Restrictions: The tapes are currently outsourced for digitization.
New Song Library

New Song Library Collection

1974-2018

Founded by Johanna Halbeisen in 1974, the New Song Library was a collaborative resource for sharing music with performers, teachers and community activists, who in turn shared with a wide variety of audiences. Based initially in Boston, the Library was devoted to the music of social change and particularly music that reflected the lives and aspirations of workers, women and men, elders and young people, gays and lesbians, other minorities, and Third World people.

This collection contains over forty years of organizational and operational records of the New Song Library along with hundreds of sound recordings, primarily audiocassettes made at concerts, music festivals, song swaps, and gatherings of the People’s Music Network. The Library also collected newsletters and magazines on folk music, and most importantly dozens of privately produced songbooks and song indexes.

Gift of Johanna Halbeisen, 2017-2018

Subjects

Folk music

Types of material

Audiocassettes
New WORLD Theater

New WORLD Theater Records

1979-2010
41 boxes 61.5 linear feet
Call no.: RG 025/F2/N4
Depiction of Photo by Edward Cohen, 2002
Photo by Edward Cohen, 2002

New WORLD Theater was founded at UMass Amherst in 1979 by Roberta Uno with the mission of presenting innovative works of theater by contemporary artists of color, with the goal of fostering creative communities, promoting cultural equity, and embracing diverse cultural backgrounds, social engagement, and a commitment to justice. For more than thirty years New WORLD Theater produced many dozens of plays and other dramatic works representing new voices in the theater, as well as plays from the traditional multicultural repertory, and they have supported the arts through performance residencies, conferences and colloquia, and a variety of initiatives aimed at the diverse communities they serve, youth, and theater professionals. New WORLD Theater has contributed significantly to national conversations on cultural equity. After more than three decades of acclaim and recognition, New WORLD Theater was closed by UMass Amherst in summer 2010.

The bulk of the New WORLD Theater collection consists of administrative records documenting the day-to-day activities of the theater, however, it also contains an extensive and exceptionally rich archive of taped interviews, conferences, and theatrical productions. Taken together, the audiovisual material traces the history of New WORLD through the words and performances of artists who both contributed to and benefited from the theater.

Subjects

African Americans--DramaAmerican drama--Minority authorsAsian Americans--DramaEthnic groups--United States--DramaHispanic Americans--DramaMinorities--United States--DramaUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst

Contributors

New WORLD TheaterPage, PriscillaUno, Roberta, 1956-

Types of material

Audiovisual materialsSound recordings
Noble, David F.

David F. Noble Papers

1977-2010
15 boxes 21 linear feet
Call no.: MS 879

David F. Noble was a critical and highly influential historian of technology, science, and education, writing from a strong leftist perspective. Receiving his doctorate at the University of Rochester, Noble began his academic career at MIT. His first book, America By Design (1977), received strong reviews for its critique of the corporate control of science and technology, but proved too radical for MIT, which denied him tenure despite strong support from his peers. A stint at the Smithsonian followed, but ended similarly, and he continued to face opposition in his career for his radicalism and persistence. After several years at Drexel (1986-1994), Noble landed at York University, where he remained committed to a range of social justice issues, including opposition to the corporatization of universities. Among his major works Forces of Production (1984), A World Without Women (1992), The Religion of Technology (1997), Digital Diploma Mills (2001), and Beyond the Promised Land (2005). Noble died of complications of pneumonia in December 2010, and was survived by his wife Sarah Dopp and three daughters.

The challenges of academic freedom and corporate influence that Noble confronted throughout his career, and his trenchant analysis of technology, science, and religion in contemporary culture, form the core of this collection. Although the files relating to his first book were mostly lost, each of his later books is well represented, accompanied by general correspondence, documentation of his lawsuits against his employers, and selective public talks and publications. Noble’s time at York is particularly well documented, including content relating to his principled stand against grading students.

Gift of Sarah Dopp, Aug. 2015

Subjects

Academic freedomCorporatizationMassachusetts Institute of Technology--FacultyScience--Social aspectsTechnology--Social aspectsYork University--Faculty
Peace Development Fund

Peace Development Fund Records

1981-2010
53 boxes 79.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 427
Depiction of Traprock Peace Center and PDF<br />arms race flip chart
Traprock Peace Center and PDF
arms race flip chart

First conceived in 1980, the Peace Development Fund (PDF) was founded by a small group of activists and donors with a vision: to raise money to fund grassroots organizations promoting peace, global demilitarization, and non-violent conflict resolution. During the foundation’s first funding cycle, PDF awarded 19 grants to projects designed to increase understanding of the arms race; some to organizations as nearby as Deerfield and Northampton and others to organizations as far away as California. With the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s, PDF changed focus. Instead of thinking of peace as the absence of war, the Foundation began to see peace as “the presence of equitable relationships among people, nations, and the environment.” Since that time, PDF has developed a new perspective on peacework, one centered on fostering social, environmental, and economic justice.

The records of the Peace Development Fund consist chiefly of grant-making files documenting the many organizations that submitted and received awards. Also included is a nearly complete run of PDF’s annual reports, newsletters, and other publications, which together offer a full picture of the foundation’s funding and programmatic history. Exchange Project files record PDF’s efforts to provide training, not just money, to organizations lacking the skills necessary for effective fund-raising, strategic planning, instituting sound organizational structures, and dismantling racism.

Gift of the Peace Development Fund, 2001, 2011

Subjects

Antinuclear movementCharitable uses, trusts, and foundations--United StatesPeace movements--United StatesSocial change--United StatesSocial justice--United States

Contributors

Peace Development Fund
Pellett, Peter L.

Peter L. Pellett Papers

1995-2007
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: FS 163

A member of the UMass Amherst Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Peter Pellett was educated at Borough Polytechnic in London (BS 1952) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (PhD 1956). After several years in research in London, Beirut, and MIT, Pellett came to UMass as head of the Dept. of Nutrition in 1971, where he worked on problems in nutrition and international development. He consulted frequently with the World Health Organization, USAID, and UNICEF. Pellett was granted emeritus status after his retirement from UMass in 2000, but remained active into his early 80s.

While working on UN development missions to Iraq, Pellett witnessed the dire health consequences of the sanctions imposed on the country and became active in critiquing US policy. This small collection relates primarily to Pellett’s work on the Iraq sanctions.

People for Economic Survival

People for Economic Survival Records

1974-1977
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 535

Established in October 1974, People for Economic Survival (PES) was a Socialist group based in Northampton, Massachusetts, first organized with the short-term goal of pressuring local banks to sell food stamps. The group’s vision for the longer term, however, was to stimulate change that would result in the replacement of an economy based on corporate profit with one based on people’s needs. After two and half years of community activity, including working for lower utility rates and against cutbacks in welfare, human services, and unemployment benefits, PES disbanded.

The PES collection consists of flyers, meeting minutes, and a full run of Take It, the group’s newsletter.

Gift of Jan Nettler, 2007

Subjects

Food stamps--MassachusettsNorthampton (Mass.)--Economic conditionsNorthampton (Mass.)--HistoryPublic welfare--Law and legislation--MassachusettsSocialism--MassachusettsUnemployment--Massachusetts

Contributors

People for Economic Survival